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I figured out recently some life hacks for my art room/art hanging. I have made a clothesline sort of display for hanging art because nothing sticks to my walls. As you can see there’s a radiator below the artwork and … Continue reading

Moore College of Art and Design Seminar- Portal to reaching students with special needs

These are my notes and photos from an amazing seminar- I’ll try to flush them out eventually, but I’ve already waited to long to post this so here it is:

PETER GEISSER– artist and teacher of the deaf

Makes stained glass. With Mika Seeger makes murals- mosaic and stone. 
“Where have we come from? who are we? where are we going?” Mural made with kids…
“Real”- one word to describe teaching with the deaf. 
Stop doing harm!! Do No Harm! Be cautious. Don’t let the kids hate art because of you. 
Academic humility… You don’t necessarily need the money to get you the knowledge to teach your students.
Language is the challenge in deafness. Art is not a magically key. 
Connection in ability to see and connect in brain…houses in perspective example…
Nature of the learner (high variability) – individuality  based
Visual noise- hearing the art… 
Beverly Holden Johns 
Children with behavior problems are like a mystery and we have to become detectives…
-remaining calm in a crisis
-send a message that we are not afraid of them and that we are accepting of them so that we are not taken advantage of 
-clear expectations and structure- let them know exactly what is expected of them… Don’t change them!!! If you do explain why and how
-do what you say you will do and follow your expectations… Stick through it, stick with them and don’t lose their trust.
– never take good behavior for granted- reinforce it (Always!)
-monitor and actually reinforce it- have a system.
Art gives us the opportunity to reinforce them- 
Check yoself!
Resources utilized:
None of us ever have all the answers. Duh. 
We are all life long learners…
Julian Dorff
We are all special needs! 🙂
Universal design for learning… 
  Multiple means of reprsentation
  Multiple means of expression
  Multiple means of engagement 
The art room is designed for this!
Start by listening and watching- it takes time, which is a problem. We need to slow down and do some research first. 
We can’t base instruction on labels first- it needs to be on the student- we need to know The student. 
First strategy know the student.
Second root instruction in the lives of the students. Buy in to their lives
Third strong images- story telling. Pictures. Relatable and recognizable.
The strategies aren’t really unique just good teaching and designing a curriculum to meet the needs of students UDL
Exemplar approaches phamplet… Making the art room an accessible place (liesle)
The Kennedy center- VSA international art program teacher resource guide
Documentary- including Samuel 
Low Expectations… From paraprofessionals… Etc. give them a list of what your expectations are for them… 
Panel Q&A
Peter-challenge- someone saying a child can’t draw
Julie- out of the box… Role play. Relevancy and content to the lesson with the play. 
Beverly- tools… 5 tops strategies…build on strengths, start everyday with what the child does well and build with momentum for success, build choice-empower and teach them that they are in control of their destiny, build relationships, and attribute success to their efforts- let them know they are doing well because they are trying.
(Lynne) bad school- bad kids… No one is saying that- breaks heart to hear it said- …
Julie- art Ed associations help us grow in this field… Reigned teachers help. Paras can be helpful.
Peter- the student can be the resources themself. Ask them! What can I do to make this work?? 
Beverly- resources- council for exceptional children and behavioral disorders… Brainstorming for the problems with colleagues… Being on list serves and discussing and sharing ideas. Legislative- communicate with state policy makers! How it is impacting children in the classroom. 
Advocating for children with special needs
Julie- a situation close to home made her realize that teachers need more support and students need advocating for
Peter- “you’re a real artist” … A personal story… He can do it…he can teach them. We can…
Beverly- “Sally can” was 10 yo when she first came to school. she kept being sent home from school until the ADA act said she had to be in school. 
Richard- I gave him the space to succeed with the risk of failing. He was uncomfortable with his art even though his first few pieces were quite successful and I completely encouraged him along the way. After further encouragement from his classroom teacher he eventually came around. One day he came to me and apologized for being rude or something like that( I should have wrote it down then). The next day he came into my room and said to me that he would like me to know that I can hang up any of his art work now. Any of the projects. From here on out. 
It should be noted, that at the beginning of the school year his teacher thought that the class (all the students) were not capable of some of the higher level assignments I had. She told me their level was more on par with kindergarten even though their age is 8th grade. So not knowing the kids at all, I kept the first assignment simple but had high expectations. They all met them exceedingly. Every class I have raised the bar and they continue to meet my goals, sometimes through struggle but nonetheless we get there. The teacher is impressed. She says their art looks like work you would frame. I think her expectations were raised.
Making the art room meaningful and accessible for all learners
Round table discussion
Meaningful vs accessible 
Projects vs. creative activity
Elizabeth Gude 
Ways of seeing- John Berger


I will be at a different school next year that has not had art in 15ish years. That means no art supplies from previous teachers, b/c there were none. My students and I need your help. Any bit is appreciated. Please follow the link for more information and please share! Pretty please!

Donate by Aug. 16 and enter code INSPIRE to have your donation matched dollar for dollar.

Let There Be Art!!!, a project from Ms. Grace

A bit belated of a post…

I meant to post this a couple weeks ago while actually on an airplane… whoops…

I’m really not finding my situation any easier. Coming to work becomes more difficult every day knowing that I am closer and closer to uncertainty in my future work. I fear not having a placement lined up. I become more and more anxious, and more and more resentful of those who get to keep their jobs.
I am a great teacher. I know I am. I love what I do, and I want to keep doing it. Why can’t I find a job?? Why won’t anyone call me back?? Am I not that. Good on paper? Or have my colleagues and supervisors pulled a veil over my eyes to lead me to falsely believe I am a great educator?

Right now as I write this I am sitting on a plane, Flying back to Atlanta, the city I left where I landed probably the best job a new and old teacher could get in the metropolitan area. Sometimes I resent that I left that job. But then I never would have met Michael, and let’s just hope there’s more to this sentence with a better job waiting to find me here in Philly.

During the majority of the flight I read most of an e-book written by one of my college professors, Paula Eubanks. She wrote about pinhole photography; the history, the process, artists, projects, etc. It had me reflecting back to my teaching photography classes at North Springs High School. I loved it so much. I loved the students, and their enthusiasm for the art, and how exciting the whole process was for both of us. And we were all so good at it! I was able to teach them in an orderly, systematic way with clarity so they unrestored the material, and they produced stunning, captivating work that spoke with subtle sophistication. I could not have asked for a better first two years of teaching. Reading Paula’s book really made me want to teach photography again, and to take my own photos again.

I know ultimately that I want to be in the high school level classroom again, and I certainly hope that is what I am granted, though I know I can do good wherever I go. I just hope that some principle or human resources person out there just reads my info and realizes what there is in me. Get past the paper and get me in the classroom.